If Kim Bocccardi's life were a dance card, there would be very few -- if any -- openings.
Kim and her husband, Dennis, are highly involved with their community, be it coaching athletic teams or working with youngsters in a variety of other ways.
"We don't often say no," she said. "I don't sleep much, so I try to take advantage of as many hours of the day as I can. It takes constant effort to keep our priorities in check and everything organized."
Kim's own background in athletics has allowed her to foster a strong background in respect for others, especially her mentors. She tries to emphasize that thinking in her volunteer efforts with the various teams and organizations she finds herself involved in.
The sacrifices needed in athletics are also important, Boccardi said. What is gained will normally far outweigh what is sacrificed. The same holds true for volunteering.
The most gratifying part of that volunteerism? That's easy.
"The thank you(s) that you get at the end," Boccardi said. "Those are not insignificant moments. The small successes are important."
How are you involved in your community?
Both Dennis and I coach multiple teams throughout the year including softball and basketball. We volunteer our time as much as we can. It's important to us to teach the fundamentals early on and for kids to understand the importance of teamwork and respecting their coaches. I also try to empower young girls on my teams to believe they can do and be whatever they can dream, on and off the field or court. I am also involved with the board of the Friends of Unit 4 organization. We raise money to provide assistance to the students, teachers and community of the Unit 4 schools.
What is your job, what do you do and what do you like best about it?
I'm the director of marketing at Titan International. My office is at our corporate headquarters here in Quincy (aka Titan Wheel). My team helps promote and market our tire and wheel products and support our teams in North America and around the world. Our department plays a very strategic role at Titan, and that is what I like best about it. Marketing is involved in more than just the obvious initiatives and that keeps it interesting and challenging.
What is a typical workweek like?
There is no typical workweek, and I like it that way.
What was your first job, and what do you remember about it?
One of my first paying jobs was on a detassling and rogueing crew back home in Indiana. I was one of the only girls on the crew and honestly, I wanted to quit after the first day. But I also wanted to prove it to myself and to everyone who thought I wouldn't make it, that I could do it. I hated it. It was hot and horrible, but it taught me a lot about myself and about working with a lot of different kinds of people.
How do you balance everything?
Sometimes I don't. It takes constant effort to keep our priorities in check and everything organized. I also don't sleep much, so I try to take advantage of as many hours of the day as I can.
Which person has influenced you the most and why?
My parents taught me that hard work, long hours and extra effort pays off.
Have you ever failed at something? (Care to give details? How did you recover?)
Oh man, that's a tough question to answer in a few sentences. I have failed a lot. I used to be a perfectionist, so failure was very hard to deal with. Once I realized that you have to fail to get better/to be a better person, at your job, at life and as a parent, then I worried less about things being perfect and more about progress and improvement.
What does success mean to you?
One of our proudest moments as parents is when we are complimented on how well behaved our kids are or how respectful they are to teachers, coaches, other adults and their peers. If raising polite kids is the only thing we do right, then we will feel like successful parents. I also feel successful when I have a high level of enjoyment at work and when all the extra efforts on a community event pays off.
What was your proudest professional moment?
Landing my first job out of college. I will never forget that moment. I have done a lot of different things, worked for a number of different companies and had a lot of successes that I'm proud of, but there is something about that first application, first resume, first round of interviews, first time I talked about my hard work in college. That experience and accomplishment have always stuck with me.
What is your favorite stress buster/leisure time diversion?
My kids. Bike rides, walks, shooting hoops, playing Legos, bocce ball, watching movies … whatever it is we're doing, they make the stress go away. I also love to sing. I'm not great, but my kids think I am, and that's all that matters. So we sing in the car, we sing at bedtime, we sing in the kitchen. When we sing songs together, the rest of the world sinks away just for a few minutes.
What is the biggest need in your community?
Funding for STEM initiatives and art/music programs in our schools. It takes too much effort to provide opportunities to our students. We should not be in a position where we have to choose one or the other, or neither. Science, technology, engineering and math are the new norm for everything today and the base for careers both now and in the future. In that same breadth we have to keep music in our schools. It is the engine that drives creative thinking and the one place where I've seen a lost and reserved student flourish and a misunderstood young man turn into a phenomenon.
What gives you reason for optimism in your community?
There are teachers, administrators, parents and alumni pulling together to do what they can, when they can, with whatever resources they have. That gives me a lot of hope for the future of our School District.
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself when you were in high school, what would it be?
Today, I would tell my younger self that life is not as easy as it seems, to never lose faith in God or yourself, and to always put others before yourself.
If you could add a few more hours to the day, how would you spend them?
I would spend that extra time with my husband, Dennis.
Do you live by any mantra or saying?
If you ask my family and coworkers, I think I have a lot of them. I even have a sayings board in my office as a place to find inspiration, but something that has stuck with me since I was a kid was that, "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."
Career aspirations aside, name one thing you definitely want to accomplish in your lifetime.
I hope that I can inspire young women to go for it, whatever it is, no matter how many people tell them they can't or shouldn't. The glass ceiling is waiting to be shattered, records are meant to be broken, and the world is there for the taking. Oh, and a little Italian restaurant on a beautiful island someday would be okay, too.